Back to the [Electric] Future with DeLorean?!

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If you’ve followed the DeLorean company at all, they have been teasing for years an update to the iconic DeLorean car — like the one from Back to the Future. I’ve been interested in the DeLorean car and story ever since I saw my first one, and at one point before I decided the money would be much better spent on a Model 3, I was hoping to add a DeLorean as a daily driver.

DeLorean Alpha 5 teaser
This was one of the teasers DeLorean put out. Spoiler: it’s the actual Alpha 5 car.

Anyway, the DeLorean company has teased a remake of the DeLorean for years, and earlier this year released some teaser images including the ones above. I got a sneak peek at the site and … it’s a really nice looking website! Here’s a link for anyone who wants to check it out — it went live within a day of me writing this article.

What’s It Like?

The new DeLorean vehicle is going to be called the Alpha 5. It is a really nice looking vehicle. The photos of it show a mostly gray car with beautiful gull-wing doors that open to a five-seat interior — much more useful than the original DeLorean’s two-seat design. They state on their landing page:

DeLorean is unapologetically human.

A New Energy mobility brand.

We have a clear vision of our future, knowing it does not represent today.

They have a new tagline, which is, “The future was never promised.” I will admit, I like this. The vehicle itself takes obvious design cues from the original DeLorean, as well as modern EVs. Quite frankly, I think it looks like a Model 3 and an original DeLorean had a baby. The more I look at it, the more I like the design.

They also put up specs. The first one is a 0–88 MPH time of 4.35 seconds. That’s hilarious. 0–60 MPH is 2.99, top speed is 155 MPH, range is 300+ miles, it includes a 100+ kWh battery, and it has a drag coefficient of 0.23. All estimates of course.

It’s cool! I expect a lot of buzz about this one! And they know their market. I find the winks and nods to the original design and Back to the Future movie franchise to be really fun. But my articles aren’t just about a new project. I like to dig in, so let’s take a look at what else we can get to see what sort of product this will be….

That’s It?

But really, that’s it. I wanted to see the reservation price. You can sign up to be emailed about it — I’ll admit, I did! — but nothing more. Otherwise, it’s pretty light. They have a quote from their CEO, Joost de Vries, on one page. de Vries worked for Tesla as a VP about 10 years ago, and then has spent a lot of time working for Karma Automotive, which I hadn’t honestly realized was still around but I know had a hand in attempting to resurrect what is one of the strangest cars ever made, the Fisker Karma. He is someone I would call legit, but also that I don’t fully trust to lead a company.

Beyond that, I have questions. Lots and lots of questions. Questions that, quite frankly, if this project said anything but DeLorean on it, I don’t think I’d care about. The biggest one is: this is a slick presentation and absolutely not what the DeLorean stateside team had been talking about making — basically a few dozen newly manufactured cars using the original design, but potentially using electric or hybrid drivetrains for them. I’ve been to some DeLorean events and talked with people involved with that. This is not that.

original DeLorean
This is NOT how the Alpha 5 will look. Photo by Kyle Field/CleanTechnica.

What I wonder is did a legitimate auto manufacturer purchase the DeLorean nameplate to make an exciting electric car, knowing the brand would make a huge splash with a large demographic that might be interested in buying a sweet electric car like this? Honestly, if it leaks that Ford or GM is behind this, it could be a real 4D chess move, as I’m well beyond the point of caring what GM’s next EV will be, but I’m fascinated by this. If an automaker wants to get me to show up at a showroom, having one of these to check out would be an easy way to get me to drop by. That could be a genius move.

I also don’t think it’s what is happening. Although, I hope I’m wrong.

DeLorean Alpha 5 Conclusion

Prototypes are easy, production is hard. As said on the site, the “DeLorean Alpha5 will premiere at Pebble Beach Concours d ‘Elegance Award ramp on August 18 and the Concept Lawn on August 21.”

I wish them nothing but the best. This looks great, and I would love to see more of the iconic DeLorean brand rolling around in the streets. Having said that, although I signed up for more information and checked out their merch — which looks cool but seems to nearly double in price when you add it to the cart — I don’t expect this new DeLorean is for me, at least until they solve all the other issues to make it a viable product. How will production be done? How about service? Will it have a charging network? How fast will it charge?

I hold out hope that these questions can be positively answered in short order, and the new DeLorean doesn’t disappear quicker than Marty’s siblings on that photo in the first movie. If nothing else, it’s a fascinating piece of pop culture history, back to get the news that EVs are really taking over by giving writers — like me! — something fun to smile and remember.

Now I’m going to go back to listening to the Power of Love while riding my hoverboard. I promise I’ll be back with an update about my thoughts on Tesla and investments in the near future!

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Frugal Moogal

A businessman first, the Frugal Moogal looks at EVs from the perspective of a business. Having worked in multiple industries and in roles that managed significant money, he believes that the way to convince people that the EV revolution is here is by looking at the vehicles like a business would.

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